It can be a quite an ordeal for any football team without their star forward and without a 100% support from their fans at home, to play superbly and even win a football game. But Brazil, have shown that they mean business in this year’s Copa America tournament; of which they are hosting 10 South American teams and two guest nations.
Japan and Qatar are the two foreign nations from Asia who are participating in the 2019 Copa America tournament being hosted by the famous South American and football nation of Brazil. Having been drawn to play against their South American neighbors, Bolivia, in the opening match of the competition, Brazil have now kicked off the tournament in front of their home fans, with a 3 – 0 win.
Without their mercurial star and PSG forward, Neymar Jr, who misses the tournament via an angle ligament injury, Brazil got off to a decent 3 – 0 win against Bolivia. Neymar Jr, picked up the injury during their pre-tournament friendly game against Qatar on June 8, which was one week before the commencement of the tournament.
But despite his absence and the initial boos from fans, which the Brazilian players endured during a lethargic first-half which finished goalless at the Morumbi stadium, the host nation triumphed eventually.
It took a 50th minute penalty awarded to Brazil following a Bolivian handball; and which was converted by Barcelona forward, Coutinho, to bring the game to life, and open the scoring in the tournament. Three-minutes later, in the 53rd minute, Coutinho doubled his goal tally, with a header to put Brazil in complete control of the opening fixture of the tournament.
Liverpool’s striker Roberto Firmino had a poor game and was largely ineffective before he was substituted by Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. Brazilian coach Tite who fully understood the booing from fans at half-time, followed up Coutinho’s double by introducing Gremio striker, Everton, for the last 10 minutes of the game.
It was the 23-year old striker, Everton, who wrapped up the game with a superb strike in the 85th minute of the match, to record his first international goal for Brazil, and secure a much needed win for the hosts.
Brazil who dominated the fixture with a seventy-four percent possession as against Bolivia’s twenty-six percent, have now secured the first win and first three goals of Group A in the tournament.
The host nation will be hoping to do more than winning their first game in the tournament, by going all the way to winning the title on home soil.
With the other South American nations including Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Radamel Falcao’s Columbia still in the mix, the winner of the 2019 Copa America tournament is still weeks away from being revealed.
COPA AMERICA GROUPS AND COMPETING NATIONS
GROUP A – Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela
GROUP B – Argentina, Columbia, Paraguay and Qatar
GROUP C – Chile, Ecuador, Japan and Uruguay
The major question now on the lips of football followers and fans of the Brazilian team across the world is "Can the team go all the way in the competition without Neymar?" No one can tell right away, anyway. But is there a chance that his absence from the squad owing to his injury will have an impact on their performance in this tournament which they are apparently eager to win as hosts?
Certainly, their next match against Venezuela may provide a bit of clarifications on these questions, but for now the team can savor their comfortable opening victory in the 2019 Copa America tournament.
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